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One Across, Two Down (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) [Paperback]

Ruth Rendell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan 2001 Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

   Two things interest Stanley Manning: crossword puzzles, and the substantial sum his wife Vera stands to inherit when his mother-in-law dies. Otherwise, life at 61 Lanchester Road is a living hell. For Mrs. Kinaway lives with them now—and she will stop at nothing to tear their marriage apart. One afternoon, Stanley sets aside his crossword puzzles and changes all their lives forever... 
    In One Across, Two Down, master crime writer Ruth Rendell describes a man whose strained sanity and stained reputation transform him from a witless loser into a killer afraid of his own shadow.  Mischievously plotted, smart, maddeningly entertaining, One Across, Two Down is a dark delight—classic Rendell.

Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books (Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375704949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375704949
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,486,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Rendell's psychological insights are so absorbing, it's easy to forget what a superb plotter she is" The Times "The best woman crime writer since Sayers, Christie, Allingham and Marsh" Edmund Crispin, Sunday Times "Ruth Rendell is certainly one of the foremost of our writers of crime fiction... She's using the detective story to say things she thinks are important" P D James "Ruth Rendell is surely one of the greatest novelists presently at work in our language. The extraordinary depth and accuracy of her psychological portraits is matched only by the rare inventiveness of her storytelling" Scott Turow "Ruth Rendell gets into the mind not only of the hero but into the mind of the villain" Jeffery Deaver --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

About the Author

Ruth Rendell is the Queen of British crime writing. The author of over 50 novels, she has won many significant crime fiction awards. Her first novel, From Doon With Death, appeared in 1964, and since then her reputation and readership have grown steadily with each new book. She has received major awards for her work; three Edgars from the Mystery Writers of America; the Crime Writers' Gold Dagger Award for 1976's best crime novel, A Demon in My View; the Arts Council National Book Award for Genre Fiction in 1981 for The Lake of Darkness; the Crime Writer's Gold Dagger Award for 1986's best crime book for Live Flesh; in 1987 the Crime Writer's Gold Dagger Award for A Fatal Inversion and in 1991 the same award for King Solomon's Carpet, both written under the pseudonym Barbara Vine; the Sunday Times Literary Award in 1990; and in 1991 the Crime Writer's Cartier Diamond Award for outstanding contribution to the crime fiction genre. Her books are translated into 21 languages. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer. --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 11 Feb 2012
By Rossi
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a great fan of the Rendell/Vine non Wexford books and started reading them about 25 years ago. I wanted to go back and read what I had missed before this time and this proved difficult as some of her books have naturally dated. This one, however is a classic where the story unfolds within a suburban North London house in 1971 and deals with the happenings within. It's the story of conniving Stanley, hated by his live-in mother in law Maud as she perceives him to be a no good layabout and Stanley's plans for her demise so he can inherit her fortune.

The wonderful thing about RR's characters are that they are so clearly defined that they take shape and form straight away, mainly through conversation and subtle mannerisms and there are never any sharp personality changes which seem to exist so often in modern writing. I love normal situations that turn into something more and this most certainly delivers. A blast from the past. Excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant as ever 14 Jun 2012
By hazanne
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed so many of Ruth Rendells novels and this one is no exception. She so understands the criminal mind and through this understanding relays back to us the humanity of the loser,so that we can empathise even finding some of them quite lovable. Stanley is one of her lovable? losers and we follow him from one gruesome error to the next right to the end. She is a truly epic writer.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your average Rendell, not your usual murder 16 Feb 2011
By Maggie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unlike most Rendell novels, this is not a mystery, and hardly even a murder. The story is set chiefly inside a small suburban house. Three people live in the house, then two. We are fully aware of what happened to the third person - who did what to whom, and why. And what happened afterwards.

In general terms, this is the story of the deterioration of a marriage, spurred on by the presence of a vindictive mother-in-law. More specifically, it is an examination of the unsavoury mind of Stanley Manning, who is obsessed by greed and crossword puzzles, and who is eventually brought down by violet cachous and a bit of genealogy.

The book belongs to the days before DNA tests, so Stanley will forever be blamed for a murder he connived at but didn't commit, and as things pan out, it rather looks as if nobody (except you, dear reader) will ever know the truth about Auntie Ethel. However, the whole thing was Stanley's fault from start to finish, and his comeuppance is wholely deserved.

When I first started the book, it felt a bit claustrophobic and I wasn't sure that I would want to read to the end, but I was quickly drawn into the story and anxious to find out how... or whether... this complete waste-of-space could extricate himself from the web of deceit he was weaving. It is not vintage Rendell, but very enjoyable nonetheless, and if you are partial to the occasional cryptic crossword clue, Stanley won't disappoint.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ruth Rendell 13 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ruth Rendell and Barbara Vine have been one of my favourite authors, and this book was such a good read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ONE ACROSS,TWO DOWN 13 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Exciting page turner. Anyone who likes Ruth Rendell will enjoy this book. A clever theme is running through the novel with a dramatic ending.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of her best written at her best! 14 Oct 2013
By keycaps
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of her best written at her best!
It reads too fluently and too fast - I don't want to finish it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars greed that got out of hand. 8 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I could not put this book down,truly enjoyed it,so real life,showes how things can get out of hand when you relatives living with you

great read recommend to every one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book many years ago... 26 July 2013
...and must get another copy as it is so good. Yes, it's depressing in places (but I like depressing), but the characters are so well drawn, especially Stanley and Maud. May seem dated now, but well worth the read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant ending. Was a slow start but a brilliant ...
Brilliant ending. Was a slow start but a brilliant finish!
Published 5 days ago by Bandit
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written book
I have something better to do with my time than to complete silly book reviewes, when the books have been mainly read by my wife who is infirm and uable to leave our residence
Published 13 months ago by Harold R. Mears
5.0 out of 5 stars Great page turner
This was the first of Ruth Rendell's books that I have read and I couldn't put it down. I shall certainly be reading more of her books.Excellent!
Published 13 months ago by Babsy
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Ruth Rendell
Bit of a waste of time. Certainly no mystery. The outcome was pretty obvious right through and the boring reference to crossword clues was unnecessary
Published 14 months ago by Terry Breeds
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
I loved this story. The suspense was great. I have always liked Ruth Rendell books thia one was superb. Thanks
Published 14 months ago by Mrs phoebe a coleman
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read as usual
This is another fantastic book by Ruth Rendell - building up slowly to a great finish. Couldn't put it down.
Published 14 months ago by MRS S L MEREDITH
5.0 out of 5 stars One Across two down
Great read as always Ruth Rendall keeps you guessing whilst tying up all the loose ends in a very clever way
Published 14 months ago by jac
5.0 out of 5 stars A psychological thriller
Characters are believable and are revealed as the plot progresses. A great read and unexpected twist at the very end
Published 17 months ago by kathleen charnock
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